A friend of mine was looking for the moon one night and it got me thinking about how I would find the moon. The obvious thing to do is look up at the sky. I think some people think that when the sun goes down the moon comes up but that’s not really how it works.
I’ve played around with gphoto2 quite a lot and I knew there was a simple way to get my DSLR camera to take a photo every 10 seconds and copy it to anywhere I’d like. When googling how to do this I found a really nice application with a gui call gTimelapse. It amazes me that programmers just decide to write these programs and share them openly on their websites including the source code. gTimelapse is written by Tim Nugent, its a really nice program for doing timelapse, really simple to set up and easy to use. I like the preview and thumbnail preview of all the images it captures as it goes along in real time. Big thanks to Tim for this awesome program.
I thought I’d document the extra packages I needed to install to make it easy for other Ubuntu users to compile the program. Basically download it from the link on the page at Tims site then extract it somewhere and run the following commands.
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential libgphoto2-2-dev libwxbase2.8-dev libwxgtk2.8-dev gphoto2
$ configure;make;sudo make install
The program will start and the rest is fairly straight forward. You probably want to change the max frames to 0 so that it records till you press stop. The other tip I would suggest that if you stop and start capturing make sure you set a new “Working Directory” in-between otherwise you will just overwrite the images you just captured.
I was pretty lazy and left a comment asking Tim for his mencoder command to put together the images at the end, his response was really quick which was nice.
Hi Chris, I think there should be a script in the src directory with some decent mencoder settings? Ah here we go, will make a 720p HD vid for Vimeo etc:
mencoder mf://*JPG -vc ijpg -mf fps=8 -vf scale=1280:720 -ovc x264 -x264encopts bitrate=5000:keyint=30 -o timelapse_1280x720_x264_8fps_5000.avi
Though I found that too jerky for my needs, Im sure its fine for his party video but I wanted moving clouds in mine so I changed the fps=8 to fps=25 and it was fine.
The other thing was that I shot in jpg normal which is 2144x1424px and I wanted my video to be 720p so I used David’s Batch Processor Gimp plugin to resize, crop and sharpen them a little before using mencoder. That gimp plugin worked really fast, its great.
It seems time consuming to capture the images, when I captured every 5 seconds for 30 minutes then encoded at 25 fps it only gave me around 14 seconds of video. So be prepared to spend a few hours to get a decent video. I think with my eeepc and nikon d90 with battery grip going outdoors I can capture for around 6 or 7 hrs.
When I went out to try this the weather was really crappy but it didnt turn out too bad, you can watch my video below or watch Brisbane Morning Time-lapse Test on youtube.
[youtube_sc url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGeHGTuOJy8 width=640 rel=0 fs=1]
A common question by photographers who shoot in RAW is how to get a jpg the same as the one the RAW image file produces from the camera by using the RAW image file and a software package. In the screencast I talk about how to do that. Watch it above and you can also watch GNU/Linux Extract JPG from RAW NEF CRW using terminal, Nautilus, Digikam on youtube.
I haven’t made a screencast in a long time but I decided to share some info mostly about geotagging. I own a Nikon D90 and plan to buy a GPS unit that will write the global position system data to the exif metadata of my photographs and make them more manageable for me and allow me to do some cool things for visualising a map of my photographs.
A platform independent program to geotag images(use GPS data to store location information with the image).Uses external maps to fine-tune locations.
Anyone can use geotag to tag their photos very easily. Watch my video below.
I’ve talked about Tux Paint on this blog over the years and produced an informative and slightly humorous Tux Paint demonstration video back in 2006. The video has been downloaded 1,066 times from internet archive.org and viewed 31500 times not including the 14000 views from the version with low quality audio which Ive deleted.
The most common question I get asked is “how do I get the stamps?“. All of the people who have asked are on the windows platform, I believe this is probably because on Debian/Ubuntu systems the stamp packages are installed with Tux Paint. So rather than continue to reply to all the email and comments I decided to write this howto and perhaps someone will do the screencast version.
Getting Tux Paint stamps for windows and mac osx
The steps are the same, visit the Tux Paint website, chose your operating system then download and install the optional stamps package.
Some of the people that asked me about the stamps must have been too excited at the time they downloaded Tux Paint and didn’t notice the optional stamps package or perhaps they didn’t install Tux Paint. If you’re having trouble you might need to ask an adult for help, if that fails just go colour.
Tux Paint stamps on Ubuntu
On Ubuntu we have advanced packaging tools, software management programs and remote software package repositories. Pretty much all the software on my system has been installed this way, its easier and more user friendly then installing software on other systems and the amount of top quality software you can install is amazing. Using search its easy to find cool new programs, for example if you’re a social media guru you might search for twitter, facebook or blog software, if you need a web server running a wiki you might simply install mediawiki and enjoy watching all the system dependencies get met. The two programs I’ll mention are the Ubuntu Software Center and Synaptic.
Ubuntu Software Center
The Ubuntu Software Center is new in Ubuntu 9.10, some people may not have upgraded so we will also look at Synaptic. Synaptic is usually installed on most versions of Ubuntu.
The Ubuntu Software Center is available from the Applications menu.
Simply use search, type tuxpaint and click the arrow and your done.
Synaptic is available through System Administration menu.
Again simply use Quick Search and type tuxpaint, Synaptic gives us more information about the packages, to install/uninstall software you tick the box and hit apply.
Tux Paint still reigns as the best educational paint software. Usually people are having too much fun with Tux Paint to think of it as an intelligent tutoring system within a highly interactive learning environment.
Tux Paint is available for free and as free software and you can also purchase the CD. It makes a great gift.
Visit Archive.org and download the Ogg video or Avi.
Download [download#2#size] , it contains the blend file, sculptmap and texture used in the tutorial.
All files and video released under CC-BY2.5-AU license.
Make sure you visit Teachers Without Borders space on Secondlife to check for upcoming events.
Following on from Teachers Without Borders on Secondlife, I met Konrad to discuss what he needed in detail. The main goal is to have a set of chairs with multiple configurations depending on how the space is being used. In simple terms you have an object that you touch which brings up a menu with options like “lecture”, “discussion” and perhaps options for the number of chairs needed. When you choose an option the chairs reposition themselves. We’ll get to that in time. In this post we look at starting to design the chair in Blender. Konrad wanted to keep the space fairly informal so for now we are going with a typical outdoor chair.
I produced a video tutorial that roughly shows the steps I’ve taken to make the chair. I hope others join in and share their progress. All of the software is free and open source and runs on all the major operating systems. Here’s the things you will need.
I think Konrad has done really well with the space, to appreciate his work it might help some people to imagine what its like standing in a completely empty room.
You can see images of the chair in secondlife on flickr.
Stay tuned for part 2, we’ll look at baking the sculpt map and making the texture.
PRO TIP FOR MEDIA: You’ll notice on archive.org that the video is available in Ogg Video format, this is the video format used by professionals involved in OER and free learning, its a royalty free format. If it doesn’t play on your system by default then download vlc media player.
[stag_columns][stag_two_third]Makehuman Wikipedia article:
MakeHuman is a software application that generates 3D humanoids; similar to Poser or DAZ Studio. It is written in C++ and Aqsis is necessary to produce a render. The MakeHuman team work towards correctness both in programming (using common file formats) and anatomy. MakeHuman makes extensive use of university research in accurately modelling the human form.
I’ve been learning character animation with Blender and found Makehuman. Here’s the MakeHuman to Blender Part I tutorial on Blender Underground, follow the links to part 2 and 3. Also check out the Blender Underground video tutorials. The videos and tutorials are awesome.
[/stag_one_third][stag_two_third_last]There was one problem I had installing Makehuman and that was with Aqsis.
The MakeHuman project uses Aqsis to produce realistic renderings of the human body.
I stuffed around trying to compile from source then found that the problem was a bug with Ubuntu Hardy, Aqsis fix on Ubuntu Hardy.[/stag_two_third_last][/stag_columns]
It is a lot of fun playing with settings. Watch this makehuman video on youtube.
What I found really interesting was when you import your model to blender, I did this using the collada import plugin. I’ll try to explain a little using the screenshot below.
By default the skeleton and armature are placed inside the body, I moved them out of the body to show you. Im sure having the armature already set up will save a lot of time, armature is kind of skeletal structure used for animation. Watch Super3boy’s 20th Blender Tutorial(Using Armatures) on youtube for a good introduction to armatures. The other at the back is the human skeleton. The other thing you can’t see here is the skin, I still have a lot to learn and texturing/skinning the meshes looks difficult. On top of all the 3d stuff theres so much I’m learning about the human body.
The other thing I’m enjoying about learning Blender this time around is the community at blenderartists.org. The way the more experienced guys explain things, the terminology they use is really helping me along and of course being able to use some of their source files is incredibly useful.
Another gem I found in the forums was “2008 Adelaide Uni Short Film Festival Entry *Winner*“.
I use Blender for making sculpties for secondlife, mainly my gnu head and horns and a few other things. Useful links:
I almost forgot, hopefully I can get one of my mates over so we can strap bra’s to our heads and create our perfect woman.
I’ve been thinking about what other useful tools I can introduce to educators in secondlife. Builders Buddy is useful for people interested in building. I put together a small package with a tutorial, you can get a copy of builders buddy in sl. Watch the Builders Buddy video on youtube to see what it is. Probably one of the cool things I didn’t mention was wearing it as an attachment and using it to rez a few seats that would follow you around. Maybe I’ll make a part 2 video that also looks at the configuration options at the top of the main script. People used to proprietary products in sl would probably know of something like this that’s usually called a rez box.