Sunday, May 15, 2011

Inkscape Color Wheel With Tiled Clones

How to design a color wheel in 30 second with Inkscape software.
May 15, 2010 (Yeah, exactly a year ago.)

This was fun to play with.

A few notes:
1. The original object color must be set to Unset Paint (Object Menu, Fill/Stroke) or the colors won't work. But try using a set color for fill and stroke instead of Unset Paint and see what happens.

2. Don't forget to move the center point of the object (crosshair) or the clones won't rotate around in a circle. They'll stack instead, which might give an interesting result too. (Try stacking in shades of gray.)

3. The color in the Tiled Clones Color Tab is NOT black, it is dark red (310305ff). If you want yellow at the top, use a very dark saturated yellow color (232201ff). If color is set to black you will get shades of gray not colors. Try a light color and see what happens.

4. Try setting the stroke to Unset Paint instead of the Fill and see what happens.
5. Try different shapes.
6. The video uses the Calligraphy Pen. Try the Marker Preset.

Spring Tulips

Pretty colors.


Smile, it is finally a sunny day!

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia)


Sandpipers list for ND.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Owl and The Pussycat - Videos

What a wonderful video capture!
Pet Owl and Cat playing
Via MeFi

The Owl and the Pussycat:
1871 poem by Edward Lear.

Interesting and pretty animation of the poem.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Inside The Car On A Rainy Day

Driving down the road:

Photo taken thru the shaded top of windshield (blue tone):

Closeup crop of the raindrop trees:

Sunroof Raindrops:

My Body - Young The Giant

My Body
Young the Giant - "My Body" (Official Video)

W-a-y more layer shading than I'd have patience for.


"The dynamic between tension and liberation came from the very basic literal interpretation of the struggle we experienced directly before the creation of the song."
Interview Link
"In a bout of frustration , we just decided to try something absolutely different; something based on instinct and spontaneity rather than meditation and patience. The song started just as a quirky joke; a release of tension."

Giant Photo

Vesper Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus)
I like his song.

It was a dreary rainy late morning and the SX30IS was really straining for a good exposure.
The DSLR XSi and tele were performing noticeable better.
Both photos were taken with XSi.

The SX30IS failed to focus on this isolation fence belly shot:

Sparrow markings of note for identification:
Streaks half-way down on chest.
White eyering
Rufous wing patch
Pink beak and feet
Soft patterning on the head
White outer tail feathers (which I saw when he flew away.)

"As its name suggests, it often sings in the evening twilight, though it sings actively in early morning as well."

Color Patterns
"Sparrows are some of the toughest birds to identify in North America. But notice that warm rufous patch on the shoulder and you know you have a Vesper Sparrow."

This whole section is a good read:
Bird ID Skills

"The rich, musical song of this sparrow is a most distinctive sound on rolling farmlands. Long known as the "Bay-winged Bunting," the bird was given the pleasing if somewhat inappropriate name Vesper Sparrow by the naturalist John Burroughs, who thought the song sounded more melodious in the evening."

Vesper means evening in Classical Latin.
google define

Sparrow of ND

Horned Lark

Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)


Not showing his horns today, ha.

Western Grebe

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Blogged Previously.

Better detail:


(He has an odd spot there between eye and bill.)

Similar to Clark's Grebe, but has black surrounding the eyes and a duller yellow or greenish bill.

Clark's Grebe is Uncommon in ND.

wiki Western Grebe
The Western Grebe has black around the eyes and a straight greenish-yellow bill whereas the Clark's Grebe has white around the eyes and an up-turned bright yellow bill.

wiki Clark's Grebe

Wiki has a list of birds for North Dakota.

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Male

Photo taken by my companion with the XSi and tele.
My first impression when I saw him alongside the road was that he looked very white. Like a seagull, but obviously not a seagull.
Although common around here, I think this is the first time I've ever seen a male.
He flew away and we followed him with the car and then he actually started flying toward us. That's when we got this photo.
He was more intent on his prey than our vehicle, evidently. It pays to be persistent sometimes.


For male photos:
google images

Sunday, May 01, 2011


Listening to:
Cary Brothers - Ride (Tiesto radio Edit)
Best sound quality.


Another version
Cary brothers Ride with lyrics


I was reading a discussion on reddit about YouTube as an audio only player and ended up googling about Grooveshark which led me to find this playlist which is good for background music while working on my laptop. I have no idea who the user is.

I also liked listening to the Graham Colton Here Right Now album.

Image Sequencer

So I wanted a free software program that would automatically create all the image stills in my videos.
I think VLC just does a one image screenshot.

The google search criteria to use is "mov to jpg" or something like it.
I was using "video capture stills frames" and coming up with single screenshot results.

Here's the Q &A I found googling.

3 Software programs mentioned:

1. VirtualDub
(File > Save Image Sequence)
I tried VirtualDub but that wouldn't open anything I had. I think it just works with *.avi type files.

2. MPlayer
I didn't want to compile, so I chose the "frontend" version for Windows and downloaded the
portable version
smplayer-portable- (13.32 MB)

Under the Video Menu there is a Start/Stop taking screenshots (Shift/D).
Open Video, start playing it and do Shift/D. It spits out all the frames/stills in the smplayer/screenshots directory by default. Can change the location in Options Menu, Preferences, General.

I got bigger images in Compact Mode (Ctrl/C) or FullScreen (F). Right click on screen for popup menus.

Command Line -vo option (e.g. -vo png, -vo jpeg)
option -ss 01:10:00 to seek to the starting position
-endpos xx to save xx seconds of video
(From Q&A link above, did not try this.)

3. Avidemux
Windows 2.5.4 ZIP

I liked the Avidemux interface better than SMPlayer. I got popup messages upon opening wmv and mov that I didn't know what to do with.
Click on the Marker A and Marker B Icons to set the Selection start and stop.

File, Save, Save Selection as jpeg.
Does window size matter for the image size? Can't remember.
File size was significantly smaller on jpg than png spit out by SMPlayer and VLC. I don't know if that means the image quality isn't as good, since they are just screenshots, right. Doing some tests, the jpg quality is about equal to compression 20 in Paint Shop Pro.

I saved the selection as a video and it worked okay. I tried both avi and mp4.

I then tried slow motion and that worked okay too.
Video Menu, Frame Rate set to 5.

I'd like to spend more time with Avidemux and see what all I can do with it.

Here's a still I got off my meadowlark video. I'd never get this kind of shot trying to capture the flight with camera images alone. It happens too fast.