Monday, December 14, 2009


"What the mystic beholds in his ecstasy and loses in his moments of dryness, what the lover pursues and adores, what the child cries out for when left alone, is much more a spirit, a person, a haunting mind, than a set of visual sensations: yet the visual sensations are connected inextricably with that spirit, else the spirit would not withdraw when the sensations failed. We are not dealing with an articulate mind whose possessions are discriminated and distributed into a mastered world where everything has its department, its special relations, its limited importance; we are dealing with a mind all pulp, all confusion, keenly sensitive to passing influences and reacting on them massively and without reserve...."

George Santayana

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


"What can be more similar in every respect and in every part more alike to my hand and to my ear than their images in a mirror? And yet I cannot put such a hand as is seen in the glass in the place of its original; for if this is a right hand, that in the glass is a left one, and the image or reflection of the right ear is a left one, which can never take the place of the other. There are in this case no internal differences which our understanding could determine by thinking alone..."

Immanuel Kant [tr. Carus-Beck]

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Der dritte Mann (flying game)

Apaches (El Laberinto)

We never confess that we have married a woman we do not love, a woman who may love us perhaps, but who is incapable of being her true self. Swann says: "And to think I have wasted the best years of my life with a woman who was not my type." The majority of modern men could repeat that sentence on their deathbeds. And with the change of one word, so could the majority of women.

Octavio Paz [tr.L.Kemp]
Click on image to view at full size.

Monday, October 12, 2009


In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora...

"In new bodies forms transmuted mind turns to tell..."


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Empire Of The Ants

N.B.: The Times article, "Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Ants--Talking To Each Other"..." by Lewis Smith, February 6, 2009, may be found online here:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night...(Slick 2)

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness....

Edward Bulwer-Lytton
N.B. The rain effects were done in Sqirlz Water Reflections. The modeling was done with metaballs and rendered in Bryce. The image at full size and without the rain effects is available here on the same blog below:

Night Fountain

Oh in the deep blue night
The fountain sang alone;
It sang to the drowsy heart
Of a satyr carved in stone....

[Sara Teasdale]

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Island Of The Day After

....Roberto now cast the dice himself. "But those are old wives' tales! Like the story of the pregnant woman who saw her lover with his head cut off and then gave birth to a baby whose head was detached from its body. Or like the peasant wife who, to punish a dog who has soiled the kitchen, takes a hot coal and thrusts it into the feces, hoping the animal will feel the fire in his behind! Sir, no person of sense believes in these historiettes!"

Umberto Eco
N.B. The animation used Sqirlz Water Reflections (among other programs). This is another seemingly simple Sqirlz animation program with deceptive versatility, available for free download at the Sqirlz site below:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Museum (Partial Anaglyphic Images And Digital Trompe L'Oeil)

The animation above is a partial red-blue anaglyph designed to be viewed with 3D glasses, red left, blue right.

In this case only the framed picture within the picture is anaglyphic while the background is non-anaglyphic 2D, from a 3D render, then animated in Sqirlz Lite.

In effect this is a kind of digital trompe l'oeil with the anaglyphic section giving the impression of projection and depth in selected areas.

The first step was the larger anaglyphic image below--click on the image to view full size:

This image was constructed by yet another variation of mixed 2D-3D anaglyphization.

In this case the original was made by the 3D method, with images from two different camera angles as input into Anaglyph Maker, which automatically constructs the 3D anaglyph. The resulting 3D anaglyph was then separated into its red and blue elements in Corel Photo-Paint, and the whole image reassembled as an anaglyph with no masking. This intensified the depth and projection of the whole anaglyph.

The next step was the image below:

In this case, the anaglyph was framed in a 2D program--Photo-Paint again--and the shadow outside the white framing was added, another kind of trompe l'oeil, giving the impression of a picture peeking out of its ground or frame.

This image was then applied as a texture to the flat objects in the 3D render below, from which the animation above was constructed.

It is theoretically possible to construct such images using only 2D programs, as might have been done before 3D programs became readily available in 3D graphics. Though the process for anaglyphs is complex even using a combination of 2D and 3D methods and appointments, it is still much simpler than in 2D alone.

[copyright EAC]

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Flight Of Margarita III (Animated Anaglyphic Texturing)

The animation above is a red-blue anaglyph designed to be viewed with 3D glasses--red blue left, blue right.

In this case, two animations in the "Margarita" series--one made by the 3D method (the cube) and one made by the 2D method (the ground) were imported into a 3D program and used as textures on objects, giving the result above.

That animation was then reanimated in Squirlz Lite (the second half) and made part of the completed Animated .GIF.

Despite the small size (the mechanics of the site limit viewing Animated .GIF to 400 pixels wide) and .GIFizing an original .AVI file, the red-blue anaglyphic depth remains, and by texturing in effect turns a non-anaglyphic render in the 3D program into an anaglyph.

The image can also be viewed without 3D glasses comfortably enough and thus qualifies as an ambiglyph. Note that the non-glassed image also has depth, which is the result of the phenomenon of naked eye red-blue stereoscopy.

Unlike non-interlaced animated .GIF and raw .AVI files, Video and Flash do not have discrete frames. As a result, there are special problems in making animated anaglyphic videos. In the case above, for example, videoizing at this small scale (not shown) degrades the anaglyphic animation considerably (a problem to be discussed elsewhere).

Logically the process of using 2D textures in 3D programs (the ground animation above) is exactly complementary to using 3D images in 2D appointments.

[copyright EAC]

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Flight Of Margarita II (Mixed 2D & 3D Anaglyphization)

The still image above is Blue-Red Anaglyph designed to be viewed with 3D glasses--red left, right blue.

Click on the image to view at full size.

This is a mixed 2D and 3D anaglyph, that is: the first step is a 3D render from two slightly different camera angles, which two images became input into Anaglyph Maker, a program that constructs anaglyphs automatically from two 3D images.

The 3D anaglyph was then separated into its RGB components and layered with additional levels of depth in Corel Photo-Paint, resulting in a mixed 2D-3D anaglyph.

3D anaglyphization produces a continuous range of depth and projection while 2D anaglyphization, in this mode at least, produces discrete layers in selected areas.

The two additional layers are readily obvious on the figure, with the breasts projecting out and the lower abdomen in.

This is a painstaking, labor intensive process involving much masking but the result is often quite lively.

The small animation below is made from the larger image above in Sqirlz Lite. Despite the reduced scale and the change of the original .AVI file into an animated .GIF, both modes of depth are still subtly noticeable, though not as much as in the much larger original still.

[copyright EAC]

The Flight Of Margarita (Animated Anaglyph & Stills)

NB: The animation above is both a red-blue anaglyph designed to be seen with 3D glasses (red left, blue right) and is also viewable comfortably as a 2D image without glasses. I call these two-way images, in which anaglyphization is not incompatible with normal, unglassed viewing, by various names, including "biglyphs" or "ambiglyphs".

The image above is the smaller resampled anaglyph from which the animation was constructed (in Squirlz Lite).

The image above in turn is the original 3D render at full size and anaglyphized with a 2D method in Corel-Photo-Paint. Click on the last image to view at full size.

[copyright EAC]

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ceci n'est pas le Cheval de Troie

Click on image to view full size.

Delphinus X3 (2 & 3D Animated Anaglyphs)

The still above is a Red-Blue 3D anaglyph made to be viewed with 3D glasses--red left, blue right.

3D anaglyphs are made by using images from the camera in 3D programs at two slightly different angles. The two images are then combined as red-blue composites, either manually or, in this case, in a program called Anaglyph Maker, which makes the anaglyph automatically when two images, left and right, are the input.

Click on the still image to view at full size.

Below is a comparison of animated anaglyphs made by 3D and 2D methods respectively:

(1) the animated anaglyph above was made from the still image at the top and animated in Sqirlz Lite.

(2) the image below, also animated in Sqirlz Lite, was made from a 3D render but then anaglyphized manually with the 2D method in Corel Photo-Paint, preserving the original color.

[copyright EAC 09]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Spartiates (3D Anaglyph)

This is a red-blue 3D anaglyph with layered depth added in Corel Photo-Paint by a purely 2D method of anaglyphizing images by separating RGB color into red, green and blue components and then recombining as an anaglyph. It is made to be seen with 3D glasses--blue right, red left. This gives a lot more control of the 3D than automated Anaglyphizing programs, and allows many different planes of depth, in and out, but it also must be done manually and is much more time-consuming.

This one is designed so that the depth and perspective changes dramatically as one moves left and right parallel to the screen at the right focal distance.
N.B. Click on image to view at full size.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mrs. Sibley (A Panorama)

Mrs. Sibley

The secret of the stars,--gravitation.
The secret of the earth,--layers of rock.
The secret of the soil,--to receive seed.
The secret of the seed,--the germ.
The secret of man,--the sower.
The secret of woman,--the soil.
My secret: under a mound that you shall never find.

Edgar Lee Masters

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ceci n'est pas la guerre atomique

Click on image to view at full size.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Milk Train To Easy (LXVI)

Echan humo, fuego y vapor
las o de las locomotoras?

[Pablo Neruda]

Does the Mississippi sport spectacles
descending to Big O?

Are the Misses hip to sudden showers?

Do the whores glower over pecan pie and capuccino
when pansies greet the rising sun?

Do transvestites strike their matches outward
and piss sitting down and in?

[copyright EAC]

Nude Ascending An Eight Ball

"I can remember Doris Day before she was a virgin."

Oscar Levant

Monday, September 21, 2009


A being considering itself finite posits the infinite. Need it mean anything more than what is greater--or lesser--than itself? But why does not something thinking itself finite more humbly confess it might also be lesser--or greater--than something else also finite, and not necessarily infinite at all?

[copyright EAC]

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cruising Through The Gulf Stream

...I walked over to a place called the Oyster Bar, a real dive
But I knew the owner
He used to play for the Dolphins
I said "Hi Gil"
You have to yell, he's hard of herring

Think I had a wet dream
Cruisin' thru the Gulf Stream
Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh
Wet dream....

[Kip Adotta]

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Four Square (Combining 2D & 3D Motion)

In the beginning computer art, both commercial and non-commercial, was overwhelmingly 2D, that is: graphics programs mainly rendered and manipulated images as analogues of flat images like photographs or paintings.

With the growth of 3D graphics it became possible to render images from objects in 3D, with the screen, acting as a camera, becoming a virtual window into space constructed of three Cartesian axes, X, Y, & Z. It was the great innovator John W. Sledd who first realized the full potential of using 3D programs in combination with 2D programs to do what neither of them could easily do alone.

Sledd worked mostly with still images. With animation a dimension is added to both 2D and 3D computer graphics. In this series the top image is a simple cube animated in 3D and textured in black and white. The next three animations down are different versions of the same 3D animation with motion and alteration added in a 2D program, in this case Sqirlz Lite. By combining 2D and 3D regular and irregular motion that would be difficult in either 2D or 3D is accomplished relatively simply and easily and many new animated translations, which cannot be done in any one strictly 2D or 3D program, become possible. In this case an animation from a 3D program was expanded by animation in a 2D program. The reverse is also possible as will be seen in another installment.

[copyright EAC 09]

Monday, September 14, 2009

About Atlantis Threefold

"You have come out of the trees so recently, and your kinship with the monkeys and lemurs is still so strong, that you tend toward abstraction without being able to part with the palpable..."

[Stanislaw Lem]
N.B.: The animated .GIF was composed in part using Sqirlz Lite 1.4, a 2D freeware available at Lite.html

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yōtaku: The Long Polishing

Ego is an aspect of reality the way a wave is an aspect of ocean.

In becoming conscious a circle is drawn.

One convention is that the circle is drawn around, marking out a border between ego and other. Within the circle is “I”, outside is everything and everyone else, including what may presumed to be other “I’s”.

Why is “I” considered within the circle and the world without?

One answer is that this is the way of the West and follows upon the initial separation of the cosmos between creature and creator.

Another answer is: “Why not?”

[copyright EAC]

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Et Yin Et Yang

Et Yin Et Yang

Mirrors pirouetting side by side,
never speaking.

She sleeps, he is awake.

He nods off, she swims to the surface
of her slumber.

[copyright eac]
N.B. Click on the image yo view at full size.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009



Masks are waterwheels facing one another, revolving.

She spins at the speed of sound, a blur.

He turns slowly error by error, evolving.

[copyright eac]

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reservoir Krispies

"Be just, and if you can't be just, be arbitrary."

William S. Burroughs

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Magic Wok: A Recipe For Reading The Future

The Magic Wok

First Step: Find one huge and hard-shelled monster,
preferably not defunct.

Second Step: If not defunct, arrange. Ponder what a long life
you are bringing to an end.

Third Step: Apply red-hot iron poker to cool carapace.

It should crack in a hundred different places.

From which the near future will emerge.

After a fashion.

[copyright EAC]

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Si, Gala...

"Jitomates y pescado y todas las cosas però si...."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Apologies To Goya

Lo que puede un sastre*

Francisco Goya
*"What can a tailor do?"

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lucianesque 3: Species

Mopsia: I love you but I cannot live with you. It is as simple as that.

Mopsius: Ah—current convention’s love, I see.

Mopsia: What does that mean?

Mopsius: One supposes the trite might answer with—“And you cannot live without me either.”

Mopsia: You might say that and it is very trite indeed. I would not. I am getting along just peachy without you, if you must know.

Mopsius: No doubt. But tell me, what does it mean to say, “I love you but I cannot live with you.” Just an empty phrase? Or something more chivalrous, like “love from afar”? Or a troubadour kind of love perhaps?

Mopsia: Are you mocking me?

Mopsius: It is hard not to mock empty words.

Mopsia: Love is not an empty word. Don’t you have feelings? Don’t you understand what love means?

Mopsius: To be very frank, no. I did use the word now and then when I was very young, mimicking what those around me said, and presuming it applied as an expression to persons in my life. There was the French Canadian girl, for example. But she was long before you. Green eyes, auburn hair. Her family was from…

Mopsia: I don’t want to hear about it. You are cruel and cold and analytic. Don’t you have feelings? Do you have to analyse every word just to know what it means?

Mopsius: Yes.

Then you never loved me? I loved you.

Mopsia: Ah, in the past tense now. So one supposes the love without living together is a shadow of what you once thought of as true love?

Must you deconstruct every phrase? Who said anything about true? So, there was never any love between us? I loved you, I am sure of that.

No doubt we will soon hear of all the sacrifices you made for the word.

Mopsia: It is more than a word. It is a feeling.

Mopsius: It is an English word with rather doubtful associations to my mind, including zero.

Mopsia: Zero—I have not heard that before. Love is zero? Oh, tennis.

Mopsius: In origin that “love” is French, originally, “l’oeuf”, the egg. Egg then as cipher or zero meaning no score.

Mopsia: Etymology now. Ask him what time it is and he tells you how to build a clock. Say “How are you?” and he tells you what he ate for breakfast.

You know I don’t eat breakfast. That hasn’t changed. In this case, however, it is not a clock at issue but this word “love” you are using to say you cannot live with me. By the way, I understand—I am extremely difficult to live with in any conventional context.

That’s an understatement. Impossible to talk with as well.

Mopsius: Really?

Really. Always talking, always interrupting, always analyzing, always making a Federal case of every word I say. Always trying to get the last word.

Mopsius: Well, if it makes you feel any better I have all the same problems living with myself. Makes it hard to keep a regular schedule. But wasn’t there much more than words when the talking was through?

But you say there was no love.

Mopsius: It is partly the word. I just don’t like the word. It is universally abused. I prefer others—delight in one another, for example. You hardly ever hear it in advertising. And that’s a big plus.

Mopsia: Advertising. What has advertising got to do with it?

Mopsius: Well, say, “I delight in ALOOF, the new revolutionary detergent. Try it today!”

Aloof? Revolutionary detergent? What are you talking about now?

I suppose it’s better than, what?—“This fabric softener is sex on wheels.”

Mospsia: You are being absurd again.

I should hope so. That one might actually sell. I mean everybody uses sex to sell anyway. Why not be straight up and down about it? In any case, when you say, “I love you but I cannot live with you” it sounds a lot like no score in tennis—that kind of love, “l’oeuf”—the big no score.

Mopsia: Perhaps. You were always witty, even if it takes you hours to get to the point.

Mopsius: Actually that point was got to rather quickly if you think about it. At any rate, there never was any “l’oeuf” between us, I agree. As for, say, amour or amore, or even the Latin amor that is a different question, for me at least.

Mopsia: So now not building a clock, but writing a dictionary of foreign words and phrases. You are hopeless.

Again, I should hope so.

Mopsia: See what I mean? Next we will hear a dissertation on love in ancient Greek!

There is no concept of the English love in ancient Greek that I know of. Rather most recognize three roughly distinct ideas—philia, eros, and later agape.

I have heard this lecture a thousand times. You are not telling me anything new. Philia is love between friends. Agape is unqualified, celebratory love, as the Christians understand it. Eros is sexual.

It is a pity.

What’s a pity?

Mopsius: Here we are the perfect man and the perfect woman. No wonder we can’t get along.

Mopsia: Then am I correct?

Mopsius: I suppose that is one of the more common understandings of the three words.

Obviously whatever I say is wrong, is that it? But I got that from you, didn’t I?

Mopsius: Yes, I suppose you did, but retailed as the common understanding. Philia, for example, is love between friends, members of the same family, and also husband and wife. In English love as amiability covers the bases, which amiability descends from the Latin amicitia, “friendship”, among other things. But among the Romans it was also friendship in the sense of a formal relationship or alliance, between politicians or patrons and clients. You see…

Mopsia: There you go building a clock again. I don’t have the time for another lecture.

As far as agape is concerned, the Christians surely used it the way you say, but among the earlier Greeks it was more affection or fondness, and interestingly enough the verb agapao could also mean to desire, as erao, the verb form of your sexual love, eros…

Mopsia: Stop there. I am not interested. You can’t understand a simple word like love without regurgitating ten dictionaries and an encyclopedia article. I have had enough of this.

Mopsius: Love and marriage, love and marriage…

Now what? What has that got to do with the price of rice in China?

Go together like a horse and carriage.

Stop singing. This is absurd.

Mopsius: This I tell you, brother, you can’t have one…

Without the other. What is this—a proposal?

Mopsius: No, certainly not. I thought we settled that long ago. But you do know the song. Way before the time of someone so young I am sure.

Mopsia: Frank Sinatra.

Actually I was thinking of Peggy Lee or Dinah Shore, but who knows.

Mopsia: Certainly not I, nor do I care.

Mopsius: What interests is that the song was the current conventional American understanding of love among many. For the time anyway. And if you pay close attention what it actually meant is no sex without marriage.

You always get back to sex, don’t you? But I don’t see how what you say follows. Someone sings of love and you think of sex.

Mopsius: Isn’t it absurd to think the song means that only people who are married to one another love? So it cannot be philia or agape. It has to mean sex. You can’t have marriage without sex or sex without marriage.

Mopsia: But that is absurd.

True enough. That is what they call the old days. No one would have dared sing, “Sex and marriage, sex and marriage—they go together like a horse and carriage.” And if they had they would never have got on the radio.

: Come now, that’s not necessarily true. They are just singing about one kind of love. And you have to bring sex into it. What’s sexual about a horse and carriage?

Mopsius: Good question. One pulls and the other gets pulled? One is the draft animal and the other is along for the ride? But I suppose that is the marriage part not the Kama Sutra part.

Mopsia: That’s a ridiculous interpretation. You are reading too much in.

Mopsius: I grant it looks pretty ridiculous now. But that’s what the lyrics say. At least we were beyond such simplicities. I never thought of you as a horse, and you certainly weren’t the carriage.

You can say that again.

Mopsius: Anyway it is a pretty gruesome picture of marriage, isn’t it? And of sex too if that is what it is about. I thought of us both as horses, a team pulling the same cart. Did you think of me as a horse?

Why not an ass?

Mopsius: Asses work too.

Mopsia: And who the bigger ass?

Mopsius: I never considered it a competition. Asses before the cart and all that.

Mopsia: I wouldn’t know. I have to go now.

Wouldn’t know? About marriage or about asses?

Mopsia: Look, this conversation is going nowhere fast.

But all that was just a preamble to eros. I have not got to eros yet.

Mopsia: Save it for another time. If there is another time. I am leaving.

Mopsius: Back to the love that can live without, I see. Tell me, is that philia, agape, or eros?

Mopsia: Certainly not eros, not from here to eternity. That’s history. I had thought perhaps we could be friends, but it is clear that is not possible.

Mopsius: They all say that. Friends? Philia I suppose. And Platonic? The only Platonic relationship I am interested in is with Plato.

Mopsia: Plato is dead if you haven’t noticed. About all I can manage is agape. Everyone in the world gets that. I will pray for you.

Mopsius: Plato dead? I am shocked. When? Where? Who told you? Where you there? Have I missed the funeral?

Mopsia: I must be going. Why don’t you write up what you have to say as a Platonic dialogue. That way you can give yourself all the best lines. I am not interested and I must go.

Mopsius: A dialogue. Capital! But I think you underestimate me. I will give you all the good lines. And I am not in the mood for anything Platonic. How about Aristophanes or Menander or Lucian?

There you go again. Games and more games—always games. I am not interested in playing. I am off. You can play with yourself.

Mopsius: Ah yes, you were always fond of solitaire, weren't you?

Mopsia: Whatever. Make sure you give yourself the last word in your dialogue or play or memoirs or whatever. That’s the only place you are going to get it.

Mopsius: Sure beats talking with oneself. Come to think of it, though, Plato’s Symposium is light enough. And the Cratylus is a barrel of monkeys.

See what I mean?

E. A. Costa [copyright eac 09]
Click on the image to view at full size. The image, in a slightly different version, appreared at another site in 2007, also under the title "Species".

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Play It Again, Anton...

Major Strasser was hot on Harry's heels.

There was only one way out of Berlin before Paris fell. Harry hired a fishing boat. They sailed at night.

As they navigated the Channel in pouring rain and fog the two stood on deck arm in arm gazing at England.

Lightning flashed.

All they could see was cats and dogs.

They swayed slowly in the dampness. They were safe. Strasser would never catch them now.

Then the shortwave crackled.

"Livestock QUARANTINE", yelled the captain to Harry.

"We must detour through Lisbon then", said Tex, "But to get into Libson we need...."

"Imaginary zither music!", said Harry.

Below decks they polished off the last of the black market penicillin....

[copyright eac]
Smaller version of an animation first published in 2006 on another site as part of series of animated GIFs.

Front Money (Animated Anaglyph)

This is a three frame red-blue anaglyph in animated .GIF deliberately designed to be seen two ways: (1) with red-blue 3D glasses (red left, blue right), and (2) by the naked eye, without 3D glasses, but with enough discrimination to be easily recognized as a single image and with a slight naked eye red-blue stereoscopic effect. The attempt to create these "ambianaglyphic" animations dates back to 2003, when this animation appeared on another site. This animation is an early effort. It is a negative anaglyph, with depth in rather than out but with some projection of the dollar sign beyond the screen when viewed with red-blue glasses.

Something Fishy (Surrealistic Tuna)

"The cowbell is a symbol of unbridled passion, ladies and gentlemen..."

[Frank Zappa]

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


"I agree that two times two makes four is an excellent thing; but if we are dispensing praise, then two times to makes five is sometimes a most charming little thing as well."

[Fyodor Dostoyevsky, tr. M. Ginsburg]
Click on the image to view at full size.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Zhemchug (Margarita Aloft)

"I'll tell you a fairy tale," said Margarita, and put her hand on top of the boy's close-cropped head, "Once upon a time there was a lady. She had no children and no happiness either. At first she cried for a long time, but then she became wicked..." Margarita fell silent, and took her hand away--the boy was sleeping."

[Mikhail Bulgakov, tr. Burgin & O'Connor]
Click on image to view at full size.


"A light-emitting diode (LED)... is an electronic light source. The LED was first invented in Russia in the 1920s, and introduced in America as a practical electronic component in 1962. Oleg Vladimirovich Losev was a radio technician who noticed that diodes used in radio receivers emitted light when current was passed through them. In 1927, he published details in a Russian journal of the first ever LED...."

[wikipedia s.v. "LED"]
Click on image to view at full size.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Organo-Geometrica : The Theory And Practice Of Metaballs

In digital computer graphics "metaballs" are n-dimensional implicit surfaces. Instead of a defined object such as a sphere or a cube or a cylinder, metaballs behave as fields which will react with other metaballs, positive and negative. Two positive metaballs, for example, display surfaces which attract one another as they get closer, eventually coalescing into one object. A negative metaball, on the other hand, though invisible, will be seen to repel and deform the surface of a positive metaball.

Many computer graphics programs now have metaball modeling, rendering, and animation. The metaballs are often called by different names. All metaballs begin as spheres, with the surface marked as a threshold value. By deforming the spheres and manipulating the values of the positive and negative metaballs interacting with one another, one can render a theoretically limitless number of shapes, including even the inside of a cube, a cylinder, or a flat surface. When the metaball collections are carefully planned and animated, many stiking new virtual events may be displayed.

A metaball disc, for example,will react with other metaballs of the same construction in interesting ways.

Another unusual trait of metaballs is that in those progams which allow texturing, the texturing of the various metaballs, both positive and negative, will react with the texturing of other metaballs with which they are in contact.

This allows effectively unlimited mixes and variations of textures even in those programs in which texture mixing is not otherwise possible.

By careful structuring of positive and negative metaball shapes and the mixing of textures, one opens new worlds of visual representation. Strictly speaking, what is visualized is a representation of mathematical events, though many of them seem to have analogues at the microscopic or submicroscopic level in physics, chemistry, biochemistry, and biology.

The commonplace is to describe metaballs and metaball modeling as "organic", as if there were something more organic about implicit and interactive surfaces than there is about the defined surfaces of a cube or pyramid or sphere, which are considered geometric. There is no question that there is a seemingly organic aspect at the macroscopic level.

Another way to characterize metaball stuctures and behavior, however, is to see them as analogues of the fields posited, though never actually seen directly, with electromagnetism, thermodynamics, and even in relativistic physics and astronomy.

[copyright eac 07-09]
N.B: All of the above images are in Animated .GIF, the only animation file type universal to all browsers. Each is part of the series, "Cheerios", which was displayed at another site from 2007 onwards but which has now been taken down due to a change in software.