@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk
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coprolite9000

@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk

Chose a terrible time to be less of a massive introvert. He/Him, British, in Seattle.

Space, biology, archaeology, anatomy, technology, and all sorts of other random esoteric things I'm interested in...

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CatherineFlick, to random
@CatherineFlick@mastodon.me.uk avatar

I made a Downpour game about building the #EMF2024 arcade, you can play it here: https://downpour.games/~liedra/let-s-build-the-emf-arcade?p=zle

#emfcamp @v :D

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@CatherineFlick @v
Tim Hunkin!!!!1

(Yes, I've been vicariously enjoying backscatter from EMF stuff from thousands of miles away...)

coprolite9000, to random
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

That active region on the sun that caused that amazing #aurora a few weeks ago? It's rotated around the far side of the star, and is emerging into view again. No idea if it'll cause more aurorae on our humble little planet, but it's doing something - as shown in this SDO timelapse thingy. See left, slightly below centre...

https://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/dailymov/movie.php?q=20240527_1024_0193

eclectech, to random
@eclectech@things.uk avatar

Apropos of nothing, if you need something lovely & funny to listen to for 44 minutes, and have access to BBC Sounds, I can heartily recommend the 2024 special of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme. A gentle tale of village life. Superb stuff.

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@eclectech
On already? Oh brilliant - will put it on later.

(Thanks for the heads-up!)

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@eclectech
Having grown up in a (moderately larger) village, so much familiar stuff in there, from the raffle tickets to the solar farms. Lovely stuff, and I do love that Mr. Finnemore gets to indulge in these total one-offs. Now looking forwards to whatever the 2025 special might entail...

(Also: I need to re-listen to Tom Wrigglesworth's Hang-Ups, yet again. It has big chunks of my life with some of the names and places slightly modified...)

CatherineFlick, to random
@CatherineFlick@mastodon.me.uk avatar
coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@CatherineFlick
Aaargh...

(This new fad for talking car 'AI assistant' bilge reminds me of a previous vision of the future - a mid-'80s Austin Maestro with voice synthesis. Because why not. Will probably prove about as useful...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_x9HwIVO7g

elizabethtasker, to random
@elizabethtasker@mastodon.online avatar

Look, this is pretty much how "Day of the Triffids" started, people. Don't you forget that.

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@elizabethtasker
I did plant out some courgette plants yesterday evening. They'd better be behaving themselves!

coprolite9000, to Seattle
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar
moira, to Seattle
@moira@mastodon.murkworks.net avatar

HEY LOOK EAST RIGHT NOW

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@moira @bnys
Must have been really quite high altitude clouds? The sun had very much set behind the Olympics, but the clouds were still in pink-orange sunlight for ages afterwards...

elizabethtasker, to random
@elizabethtasker@mastodon.online avatar

I'm trying to create a low-poly version of this mesh for a light (left-hand image) by cage baking the normal in #blender3d #b3d

I don't think... I can get it better than the image on the right. But would love to hear if there's a way to mimic a mesh more convincingly.

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@elizabethtasker
Nice! And yep, ever so slightly cheaper to render...

Re: baking stuff - I'll often put together normal maps etc. in Substance Designer or Substance Painter rather than bake them from a highpoly thing - it can be a lot more controllable and adjustable that way. Plus quicker.

1/2

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@elizabethtasker
Baking normals from highpoly stuff is an art in itself!

Your earlier image - I think it's interpolating the view direction for baking around the ends of the cylinder, hence the weird stretching. Substance Painter does this by default ('Average normals', or something) - no idea about Blender. One workaround is to add edge-loops quite close to the top and bottom of the cylinder, so the normal interpolation happens over a short distance. Or, detach the cylinder ends...

2/2

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@elizabethtasker
You'd probably want the cage to be only slightly taller than the underlying cylinder, while a fair bit wider - imagine the view direction rays coming in radially and horizontally for the curved part of the cylinder, rather than increasingly from above or below at the top and bottom...

(I rarely use any manual cage stuff, letting Substance Painter or whatever do that automatically. Then there's the fun of dividing meshes into sections, so stuff doesn't get in the way...)

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@elizabethtasker
Normal maps: an utter pain, but so very important. Random tips:

  • Have each UV island as a separate vertex smoothing group (or similar) - avoid hard vertex normal creases inside a UV island, as you get a discontinuity if the normal map tries smoothing around it.

  • Normal maps aren't great at creating sharp edges. Good place for a new UV island!

  • Triangulate meshes before baking - software has different opinions on how this should be done, and you need to be consistent.

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@elizabethtasker

  • OpenGL or DirectX? Stuff will look weird if this is wrong. (It's down to different opinions on the green channel - you can fix things by inverting it in Photoshop...)

  • MikkTSpace or something else? Oh no. (Blender is very much the former? Really only matters if you're pushing normal maps particularly hard...)

Did I mention that they're an absolute pain? Yep. Good luck!

(I can definitely recommend something like Substance Painter or Marmoset Toolbag if you get too deep.)

elizabethtasker, to vr
@elizabethtasker@mastodon.online avatar

This week, we're hitting the shop floor for a big design that (I hope) will ultimately become a space for a conference.

So far... it's a doughnut.

Is this to remind attendees that they better getting running around this track to burn off eating too many pastries? We shall see...

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@elizabethtasker
Solar system design is lovely - but I can definitely sense the graphics programmers' ears twitching at all those tiny triangles!

(Exciting thing about modern GPUs - very small or thin triangles are much more expensive per-pixel than larger ones, in addition to the cost from the triangle count. For the VR game I worked on, we had a visualisation mode to highlight stuff like that...)

1/n

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@elizabethtasker
Alpha-tested texture version would avoid that triangle cost - but then you hit potential antialiasing problems. (Simple alpha-testing in a forward renderer is per output pixel - i.e. no antialiasing at all, so will look rather shimmery in VR. We had a fancy alpha-to-coverage thing for such situations which looked pretty decent...)

2/n

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@elizabethtasker
I'd wonder about having a transparent, etched-glass-like version of the design - keep the horizontal and vertical components of the railings as actual geometry, with glass with the curved solar system design filling the gaps. Could be nicely cheap to render...

Good luck!

3/3

futurebird, to random
@futurebird@sauropods.win avatar

New outworld is cleaned and landscaped for my Camponotus nicobarensis. I’m going to add some “leaf litter” I would try isopods or springtails… but the girls are so excited to murder— let’s see if they destroy the moss tufts first.

They are also going to put the black dirt all over the place— but that’s the ant way.

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@futurebird
Description of it as an 'outworld' has me imagine the ants' nest as a starship on a grand voyage of exploration through the cosmos - with the ants discovering a new planet and immediately going "Prime Directive? what? lol" and gleefully, carefully terraforming the place in their image before moving on.

(I'm now expecting there to be actual, uninhabited exoplanets out there with extensive ant-like improvements...)

Minimus, to random
@Minimus@archaeo.social avatar

fabula murina (mouse story) CXXXVII
Vibrissa* Silvium in horto curat, ne in stagno cadat aut vespam vexet (Vibrissa is minding Silvius in the garden, so he doesn't fall in the pond or annoy a wasp). Silvius manum felis amplectitur (Silvius hugs the cat's paw)
*iterum Merlin
#fabulamurina

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@Minimus
Today I learned the origins of the word 'amplexus' as used to describe, ahem, a particular behaviour in amphibians.

Yay!

(Scientists really do make new terms for things by just borrowing Latin. See also: 'vibrissae'!)

futurebird, to random
@futurebird@sauropods.win avatar

In the park near my home there is a great outcropping of rock. A cliff in miniture. It's about 20 foot high, and too perilous to climb. It's encrusted with lichen and trees emerge from the wider cracks.

This isn't so unusual in NYC. When a parcel of land remains "undeveloped" (by people) it's often because it's too uneven and rocky to permit construction. The bedrock that anchors skyscrapers is exposed to the elements and becomes a wonderful habitat for all manner of creatures. 1/

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@ptoothfish @futurebird
I'm randomly reminded me of an important (and utterly forgotten) part of the recent history of the East Midlands town of Derby - where plants intended to spell out the inspirational 'DERBY IN BLOOM' ended up showing the much more accurate 'DERBY IN GLOOM' instead.

Nobody knew if it was vandalism, or nature itself conspiring to tell the truth.

Fortunately, there's still a picture on the intertubes:

https://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2005/06/derby_in_gloom.html

coprolite9000, to random
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

Best bit of the #eclipse / #eclipse2024 hashtags right now is that the people with Big Cameras and Big Lenses are getting home and are posting the first of their photos...

futurebird, to random
@futurebird@sauropods.win avatar

I just read a review of a children's book written in 1911 (the review is from 1913) and the person reviewing the book totally missed the point of the story. The whole thing went right over the reviewer's head.

Tempted to write the latest, least expected bad book review clap-back in the history of humankind.

1/

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@martin_piper @futurebird
It is 1913. At a desk, the reviewer writes one last word, puts down the pen, takes the paper, gets up, walks and hands it to the editor. This review should put that damned author in his place.

Then a sudden, indescribable, overwhelming sense of dread, of utter shame. What a terrible thing to have done! But too late - too late to correct this foul deed.

Unseen, on a bookshelf - a tiny ant blinks out of existence, having delivered her psychic message from the future.

elizabethtasker, to random
@elizabethtasker@mastodon.online avatar

Me n’ my asteroid chip! A selfie at the London Science Museum yesterday, seeing the exhibit of the grain from asteroid Ryugu returned by the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission. This is the first time I’d seen the exhibit after delivering the asteroid grain from JAXA to London last summer! (The how-to for smuggling asteroids is here: https://cosmos.isas.jaxa.jp/how-to-carry-an-asteroid-around-the-world/ )

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@elizabethtasker
Yay!

(At which point does it get returned to Japan, and are you still up to transporting it?!)

mattdm, to random
@mattdm@hachyderm.io avatar

PSA: if you are not in the path of totality, you don't really want eclipse sunglasses. You want a colander.

#eclipse #solareclipse #sun #facts

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@sundogplanets @mattdm
I was just looking through photos I took during the August 2017 eclipse from Seattle, having remembered the colander trick there .... and saw an entertaining extra. A doughnut! Not as effective, certainly.

(Shadows from foliage also become something wonderfully strange...)

Shadow from tree foliage on concrete tiled footpath, with hundreds of overlapping crescent suns from an in-progress solar eclipse.

Rycaut, to Seattle
@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

visiting Seattle next week for my son's spring break, we'll be staying downtown, not going to have a car (but the whole family loves walking/taking trains places), we might do a boat tour one day, will definitely take the monorail (yes know it barely goes anywhere), probably the requisite Space Needle, and Pacific Science Center (has a reciprocal arrangement with our local Tech Interactive) what other kid friendly things should we do? (geeky kid/parent friendly things) #seattle #parenting

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@Rycaut
Absolutely up there on the nerd scale - the Connections Museum, open every Sunday. Can get close to there from downtown by bus. Old telephone exchange stuffed full of old telecommunications hardware, with a lot of it powered up and clicking and whirring away.

https://www.telcomhistory.org/connections-museum-seattle/

(They're on the fediverse too: @connections )

coprolite9000,
@coprolite9000@mastodon.me.uk avatar

@Rycaut @connections
Noo!

Bonus Georgetown extra, with even weirder opening times - the Steam Plant museum:

https://www.seattle.gov/city-light/in-the-community/tours-recreation-and-education/georgetown-steam-plant

"We offer public open houses on the second Saturday of every month between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m."

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