Wednesday, July 9, 2008

3-D Speak, Hypermiling and Housework

We had a GAF Viewmaster in our family when I was a kid. I can remember sitting on the couch in our living room flipping its lever to change from one photo to the next while becoming a part of each image as the 3-D effect worked its magic. There was one set of photos in particular of the Grand Canyon which I liked best. The scenery was breathtaking and the Viewmaster was the next best thing to actually being there.

I've played around some with producing my own 3-D shots. I first saw the technique used on the net with this photo on Robert Oddy's site. Seeing what he did gave me inspiration to try using it to photograph a couple of our lamps; here and here.

It's not all that difficult to do. Depending on how near or far your subject is you take photos which are offset by either a few inches or a few feet. The next step is to position the photos side by side. I use the photomerge feature in Photoshop to accomplish this. Be sure that the photos are swapped out from how they were originally taken. The photo taken from the left-side perspective needs to be placed to the right of the photo taken from the right-side perspective. That's really all there is to it.

The tricky part is for the person viewing the photo to achieve the 3-D affect. I'll do my best to explain how to do that. You simply stare at the photo and slightly cross your eyes. Once you've crossed your eyes enough you should begin to see a third photo emerge between the two originals. Try and work that photo over the top of one of the original photos by either weakening or strengthening the crossing of your eyes. Once you've positioned it over either of the photos it should sync into place and you'll see the image in 3-D.

Speaking of 3-D, there's a movie coming out in a couple days called, Journey to the Center of the Earth which is done in 3-D. Tammy already mentioned that she'd like to see it. I'm in.

Are you a Hypermiler? Watch this video to see what it's all about or read this article. I'm not one but with gas at about $4.00 a gallon I've changed my driving habits some. I'm not much of a speedster to begin with; maybe 3-4 mph over the limit. I've pretty much adopted the speed limit as my max speed now in an effort to improve my truck's gas mileage. I used to track that sort of stuff but I don't anymore. All I know is that by going a bit easier on the gas pedal I can make a small difference which will undoubtedly be cancelled out by Rachel's driving habits. :(

Matt, from the concrete company that will be doing our driveway called last night to see if they could move up the start time for tearing out our old driveway. They were supposed to be here on Thursday but he wanted to do it today instead. I gave him Jim's number and told him to coordinate it with him as I wasn't sure how long they'd be painting out front. Jim said Matt will be by later this afternoon to do the work.

I spent a little over an hour last night taking out the block from along the front flower garden as they'll be replacing the front walk as well. The blocks are 16 years old and they're showing their age. Matt told me to leave them on the driveway and he'd haul them away for me. Sweet. Time to go buy 130 new blocks.

Jim and his crew spent the day painting our house. They're just wrapping up as I type this. Jim does a great job and the proof in that is the ten years between now and the last time he did the job. Ten years from of a paint/stain job on cedar siding is very good.

They came by a couple days ago to re-caulk, sand and prime where it needed it. Yesterday they covered the windows and removed the lighting fixtures in preparation for painting today. Jim will be back tomorrow to paint our front door and finish some detail work.

I'm happy to be able to pay someone to do this job for us. I'm not one for inching my way up a ladder trying to reach the highest points on the house. I'm satisfied with being able to manage to hang Christmas lights on those peaks and that can be a bit of a nerve wracking experience for me.


Saeedi said...

I kinda think the guy deserves being honked at. Sure, driving like that can save you some fuel economy, but pushing your car before starting it is... is... kinda retarded. I ride my bike to and from work every day, so that makes me a hyper-miler of sorts too. Better economy than that bozo gets. ;-)

Kevin said...

Yeah, he seems a bit obsessive-compulsive in his approach to the whole idea. You have to wonder how much wear and tear he's causing to his vehicle by excessively having to use the starter. An engine's oil pressure will be lower during start-up so that would also increase wear. What about those high speed turns and how they will they effect the longevity of his tires. There's a lot more give and take in this than the report brings out.