I just finished an introductory course to aesthetics and design, and the final assignment was to create a portfolio with all the exercises we completed during the course. Now, this was my first real experience with graphic design, and my work with some of the exercises (and the portfolio itself) was kind of half-assed at times, so don’t expect anything amazing. Also, the brushes are kind of just randomly put in there, since I didn’t really have any original design ideas … Still, I thought I’d put it up here, since it took some time to make. The portfolio was supposed to be based on a grid based design, but because of time issues this is mostly only used for the overall graphics, such as the framings, and heading and text positions. You can download the entire portfolio as PDF here.
One month into the 3rd semester, and I finally feel like I’m learning something useful. We’ve had a lot of programming classes, focusing on C++ and OpenCV, a computer vision library focusing on real-time image processing. The point of all this is to learn how to make tracking systems (think the big screen from Minority Report) and today we finally got a first, practical look at how to apply all of this.
Jonas in the hot motion tracking suit.
Most people have probably seen this in behind the scenes videos from movies and computer games (this is a simple version of how they made Gollum). The procedure is simple: you adjust the aperture, shutter speed, lighting settings, etc. until all you see are the suit’s tracking points in the dark. Using an infrared camera makes it easier, but this was only a test. But then you have to track the points, and this is where image processing comes in.
Excerpt from the source code (turning a grayscale image into a binary image).
Now you have to isolate and track the interesting points (called blobs), in this case the reflective buttons, by applying some image processing techniques. First, you turn the color image/video into grayscale with a built-in function in OpenCV, and then you convert it to binary, which means that we only get two colors in the image: black (0) and white (255). To convert the video images we make all pixel values above or equal to some threshold (235, in this case) white and all below black.
The original video.
The video converted to binary.
The reason for doing this is, as mentioned, that we want to be able to track something, so we have to remove noise, i.e. stuff we don’t want to track. In this case we want everything but the reflective buttons to be black, so we apply the steps above. As you can see in the last video, there’s still a lot of noise (light at the edge of the screen, Jonas’ face and hands when he gets close, etc.), but in the middle of the video we have a sequence with a “clean” region, where most noise around Jonas’ reflective buttons are gone. Then we can start tracking. However, we will remove more noise by applying various techniques (mean filter, dilation, etc.) first, but that’s for another post.
Since the end of September I’ve been working on the 1st Semester project at my study, Medialogy. These projects center around an overall theme, e.g. “Visual Effects”, and each group must find a problem related to this theme, analyze it and develop a product that can solve the problem. The theme of the 1st Semester project was “Visualizing the Unknown”, and my group ended up with a problem statement concerning spreading information to graduating high school students, about Medialogy. The product ended up being a film, it would have been fun to make an interactive multimedia installation or something similar, but since we just started at the education none of us really have those skills yet. The project is titled VIS.MED.FILM, an abbreviation of the words visualization, Medialogi and Film.
If you’re interested the report can be downloaded here, and the film can be seen right here:
My god, it’s been a while. I’m a Bachelor student now, which makes me all kinds of awesome. Example? I completed this today. Notice the smooth edges, and the soothing colors or are you just laughing hysterically from the ingenious humor? Thought so.
Today I moved into an apartment in Hvidovre, with two of my friends. The apartment is 75 sqm., and the rent is 9.500,- including power and water. It’s right next to Føtex, Aldi and the train station (10 minutes from the main train station), so it’s pretty much awesome. I have three weeks of chilling, until school starts at AAU in Ballerup. I’m going to study Medialogy. Until then I’ll probably see a shitload of movies and enjoy our entertainment center, in our living room, which has been named, rightfully so, “Room of Pure Awesomeness”:
What you’re looking at is a 32″ HD flatscreen TV, digital 5.1 surround sound, a PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo 64 and Sega Mega Drive.