NBN - the rollout
the cause of devil tumors
Aurora from Southern Tasmania
European wasps in Tasmania
tranquil Tasmania

14 July 2017

GIF Animation - 'Welcome To Gimp Chat'

When newcomers join Gimp Chat some members do a 'welcome' graphic. It's a nice tradition that goes back a few years. It kinda proves there are still cool people on this planet.

From a video by Marcus Bernert under the Creative Commons license. Made in open-source Gimp. There is a reverse image here.
Check-out 'My Animation Gallery' link on top left hand side.

I've been doing some compiling

I've done compiling now and then for quite a few years. Compiling is converting source code into a usable program. In the Linux world that means producing a 'package' as the end product.
Recently, I made some Gimp plugins for the current long term Ubuntu (16.04) that were not available. I had some success with Gimp-gap (Gimp Animation Package) and it was seriously difficult. I wrote about it here.
The problem is that gimp-gap is 'multimedia' software with many different codecs and dependencies. In the Linux world this is called 'dependency hell'.

Compiling really gives the brain a workout because mostly the source code fails to build and ends with an arcane error message in the terminal. Your main tools are a command terminal and a text editor. You must also refer to the net to search for similar error messages. RedHat Linux uses a different packaging system called 'RPM' and in some cases I look at the RPM 'spec file' to see what they did to compile the program.

I have not fully compiled MathMap under Ubuntu yet but I did convert a RedHat RPM of Mathmap into an Ubuntu 'Deb' pack using Alien. Alien is a brilliant piece of work and I also added some extra filters using the 'repack' method.

It's good when it finally compiles and you have software that can be used around the world on similar systems.
Compiling also makes you aware of the strengths and weaknesses of computer operating systems. For example Ubuntu/Mint/Debian has it's own library naming system which can be frustrating. No wonder Linus Torvalds doesn't use Debian-based systems? On the plus side Ubuntu/Debian system are relatively fast with excellent security. At some point I may go back to using RedHat. I used Mandrake until it morphed into Mandriva. Teaching myself Unix was one of the best things I ever did because it future-proofed my tech skills. Check-out http://distrowatch.com/

Recently I gave-up on a compiling a project called 'FFMultiConverter'. Although a small program, it needed a huge number of support files when installed. It's written in Python and is not available for later versions of Ubuntu. I settled on using WinFF to do my video converting tasks. I may go back to compiling FMultiConverter when I get my head around loading Python libraries on Ubuntu.

I actually want to upload more animations but I also don't want to slow down my blog page with all the graphics so I achieved both with this post.

15 May 2017

MC Escher With Gimp MathMap

This is my re-work of MC Escher's 'Another World' drawing. I published it as an animated GIF and as a looped video clip.
The video version is here.

12 May 2017

A Room Full Of MathMap

I went back and re-worked this image after re-compiling the Gimp-GAP plugin. The first version was dropping frames and it was worth fixing. Made in Gimp with the rotating sphere produced by MathMap. I also used G'MIC and Gimp-GAP.
A high-res image here: https://gfycat.com/SlightArtisticAustraliansilkyterrier

30 April 2017

Remember The Analogue World? Polished Marble With Gimp

I've been learning to make polished marble at gimpchat here and here. There are different ways to do it but I think Wallace's method looks more realistic. I figured-out how to make marble spheres using the Mathmap plugin that I wrote about here.
In the image above I have added some Gmic filters and filters from the FX Foundry plugin which I recently re-discovered.
I took the background photo in a Tasmanian cemetery a few years ago. Hope you like it.

15 April 2017

Quad Nested Animations

This is an experimental 'quad nested animation' converted to HTML5 video.

11 April 2017

Triple Nested Animations

Here I have 2 cubes revolving inside another revolving cube - the so-called 'triple nested animation'. It's from a gimp chat tutorial originally using a Rubik's cube script. The process is very long and quite challenging and along the way I discovered how to make the cubes without the Rubik's segments. I may do more of these in the future because I enjoy the effect.

19 March 2017

The Net Just Got More Interesting Thanks To Google Guetzli

Graphic designers will tell you the big trade-off was always between image quality and web page load times. You really can't have both. There is javascript code that makes images load as you scroll down but it's mostly used on image galleries. Guetzli has solved a big problem for designers.

Explore the.....wood?

At the end of 2016 Google had a breakthrough with the Guetzli image compressor. Within 24 hours of finding it I was using it.
I downloaded the program from Github and compiled it on an Ubuntu system. It is available for Macs and Windows.
It's console-based, but I guarantee it won't be long before it has a GUI front end. For now, I recommend a command line terminal with copy-n-paste. That will make it a lot easier to process images.
I usually aim for about 150kb image size for the net. I use Gimp but all graphics programs will let you export to JPG at any quality you want.

Guetzli can halve the size of an image and still make it look good. That means I could export to about 200 to 300kbs and then let the Guetzli algorithms crunch it down to something light and fast.

Guetzli makes a folder called 'guetzli-master'. I made a subfolder called 'test' to put my images in.
CD into 'guetzli-master' from your terminal and paste-in this command:
./bin/Release/guetzli --quality 90 --verbose ./test/Image.JPG ./test/Image-guetzli.JPG
It takes a minute or two to process an image and you can watch the matrix-like code do it's thing. The default quality setting is 90% of original but it's recommend not to go below 84%.
For me the command line work flow is easy to use. I check the image quality and size in the test folder and change Gimp and Guetzli settings as needed, deleting as I went along until I had what I was aiming for.
I give Google 10 out of 10 for Guetzli. Designers have waited ages for this and it could even be further improved or inspire new image compression algorithms.

17 December 2016

Tasmania World Leaders In Fake News

Fascinated by the 'fake news' concept I realised Tasmania has been doing it for years.

This week economist Saul Eslake released a report defining just how badly Tasmania is performing compared to the rest of Australia. Worst unemployment, lowest wages, most unproductive, oldest, sickest etc, etc.

37% of the state's GDP is being used to support retired public servants, the highest rate in Australia. Consider currently employed public servants and those forced to live on welfare and you have a bankrupt state. Strangely, that is never discussed in Tasmania. The Liberal Party prefer to concentrate on 'dole bludgers'.

But how many dole bludgers are there really? Only a fraction of old age pensioners.

This graph exposes a Liberal Party fraud. They can't attack old age pensioners because they would lose government. They can't attack disabled pensioners because they would expose themselves as psychopaths.  That just leaves the unemployed to bear the full brunt of a dysfunctional government.

Meanwhile, Treasurer Gutwein isn't worried by the Eslake/TCCI report. He immediately put out his own report either ignoring or refuting the Eslake data. He will continue to do that because the state government gets away with blatant misinformation. The fact is politicians and retired public servants are sending Tasmania broke.

A quick analysis of Tasmania's history will show that going broke was hard-wired into the local psyche. 75,000 convicts were deported to Tasmania along with the 'Westminster System' that enshrines a class system and many levels of privilege. Every bizarre nuance of neo-feudal Britain was dumped here. From Morris Dancing to cult worshipping the House of Windsor. Poor Tasmanians are blind to how brainwashed they actually are and the most brainwashed of them all are conservatives.

Pre-Federation and the only people who could vote in Tasmania were white males who owned land. Many of them would have been Masons who voted as a bloc. While negotiating the Federal Constitution, they insisted Tasmania had the same number of Senators as NSW. A century later and we have 12 senators for a population less than Gold Coast City Council. Imagine if Gold Coast City Council was represented by 12 senators in Canberra, as well as a state government and of course a local council? The founding fathers were acting in self-interest and not in the national interest. That's why Tasmania is a basket case today.

It no longer seems possible for Tasmania to trade itself out of the hole it is in. I think Hodgman and Gutwein realise that which is why they consistently place foreigners before Tasmanians. The Tasmanian government is committed to a cargo cult philosophy and a groundhog day reality, forever commemorating things like the Boer War. And any other imperialist war except the one they actually fought right here in Tasmania. Again never discussed.

You would think the state retirement debt crisis would diminish eventually as old public servants die but that does not appear to be the case. Is the debt problem getting worse and what is Gutwein doing about it? A topic for further investigation.

As the years pass the insanity of the Hodgman and Gutweins becomes more obvious. We have already seen the Libs promoting Maoist interests in Tasmania ahead of Tasmanians. They didn't want Jan Cameron to buy Woolnorth and they dragged the entire dairy industry down with them. (Liberal values: an animal rights campaigner is worse than an expansionist totalitarian dictatorship) Maybe it's because Tasmania is essentially a communist state itself that the Liberal government spend so much time bowing at the feet of communist dictators? Meanwhile the rest of us are forced to fund the lavish retirements of the very politicians who have crippled Tasmania. So who are the real 'dole bludgers' in Tasmania?