ROOK GIF, because

What's he up to?

What’s he up to?

Well, I just thought another GIF would be good to finish the day. I’ve already commented on the chess puzzle in The Tally Ho, so I thought that puzzle could be animated. All frames taken from the Checkmate episode of The Prisoner.

It turns out that the entire sequence of writing the word ROOK takes 10 seconds. Using MPEGStreamclip, even saving at 8 frames per second gives 80 images. I actually gave up after the program seemed to time out. So I actually had to reset the in and out points a couple of extra times to get the frames I wanted. Anyway, I have some extras to mess around with some other day.

Importing selected images into GIMP as layers made it trivial to export as a GIF. The first try had too much of a blue cast, so I went back and desaturated all layers. Then I needed to adjust the timing, settling on 180ms for all but the final frame, which is 800ms. Since this sequence doesn’t smoothly wrap back to the beginning, I thought it best that the checkmark would have a bit of a lag before repeating the action.

I like the slight movement of the paper as Number Six writes the letters. The shadowing makes the sequence more realistic.

Be seeing you, tomorrow!

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A Design Analysis of the Number Two Great Seal of Office

Number 2 Great Seal of Office

Number 2 Great Seal of Office

In the episode “It’s Your Funeral”, Number 2 is honored during ceremonial occasions to wear the golden Great Seal of Office. In the scene in the watchmaker’s shop we see a rare glimpse into the design process. Left laying around for all to see is the original designer’s sketch of this seal!

Original Design Sketch

Original Design Sketch

As is common when analyzing ancient manuscript documents, I found it useful to record my experiments with various lighting conditions from various angles. For simplicity in this presentation, and in presenting the evidence of my conclusions, I show only the results for light from the four cardinal directions, and I do so in rotating images.

First, the sketch in natural light:

Natural lighting

Natural lighting

As you see, in natural light, no particular artifacts of creation are evident. One sees the inscription in the normal Village font, and the central icon of the Village pennyfarthing.

Exposed in near-ultraviolet light, we see some additional information developing on the surface. There are areas of differing colors showing variations in the surface texture. The spectrum from red through violet shows increased surface height. One would think that a piece of drafting paper would be smooth, but here there is apparent evidence of unevenness.

In Near-Ultraviolet Light

In Near-Ultraviolet Light

Finally, I found the need to slow the rotation to better see the square areas that appear from some angles. In slow motion, you can observe this “pixelization” of the surface. Normal paper does not behave in such a manner. Note that you can see the effect better if you click on the image to view it larger in your browser.

Slow Motion to Observe Squares

Slow Motion to Observe Squares

“What does this mean?” to quote Dr. Martin Luther. Apparently, the technology of The Village included elements more advanced than most of the world knew in the 1960s. This paper is actually synthetic paper made of nano-liquid-crystal. To our knowledge, this nLCD type of display is just now coming to market in advanced technical centers, such as Tokyo and Singapore. To find it in The Village is evidence beyond what we were looking for. The nLCD paper the watchmaker is using to draft the seal of office is nothing less than an artifact from the future!

The next stage of research must now shift from design, to source. Where and when could this nLCD paper originate? And how and by whom was it delivered to The Village? Unfortunately, these questions cannot be answered at the present, but must wait for time to progress.

Animated GIF Warm-ups

Today, at the beginning of week three (visual), I decided I needed to review how to download video, select frames, and make GIFs. I watched the episode The Professor, and noted several opportunities.

To download the episode, I grabbed its URL from the prisoner106 archive, and entered it into the video downloader at en.savefrom.net. I’m hoping this site works well without any malware. So far, looks ok. It took about half an hour to download, then I had to save to a flash drive since I was at work. Once home, I copied the file to my own computer to work from.

To grab frames, I used mpeg Streamclip, a freeware product often recommended within ds106 circles. John Johnston has a basic list of steps, which I have modified since I use GIMP, and list here:

1.Open video in MPEGStreamclip
2.Select in and out points
3.Trim (command T on a mac)
4.Export to Other Formats…
5.Choose Image Sequence
6.I usually click options and choose Jpeg and 12 frames /second
7.Export
8.Open as layers in GIMP
9.Delete unwanted layers
10.Preview with the Effects>Animation tool
11.Adjust layers and timing for best results
12.Export to Gif

And here are my results:

Reading the Input

Reading the Input

Danger Meter

Danger Meter

Professor Worry

Professor Worry

Page Turner

Page Turner

I’ll be trying to improve my technique during the week. But, for now, two credit units!
Be Seeing You!

What are you smoking in that pipe?

These are not sunflowers.

These are not sunflowers.


Another in a never-ending series of not-a-pipe images. This one has sunflowers from gif-favicon.com (free use, from a public domain original) emitting from Magritte’s pipe. Or so it seems.

I wish I had a picture of my first car, a 1964 Chevy Corvair, white with daisy stickers on the side. I peeled off the stickers and paint came with them, so I replaced them with footprint stickers, walking up the door and over the roof.

wwnorm m.i.a.

Norm Wright (aka wwnorm, aka nostorynorm) was once very active, especially in creating Daily Creates. He may be off on a secret mission. I suspect he is seeking asylum.

Where is Norm?

Where is Norm?

I made this image using GIMP from images from two sources. Norm’s portrait was his own (http://flic.kr/p/em1gxa) and the passport page is from Ken Mayer (http://flic.kr/p/5UB8BE). To combine them, I had to deal with the size issue by scaling them to the right sizes. The text was easy to add. To keep norm from blanking out at the end of the sequence, I duplicated the largest layer (which shows first) and merged it down onto the passport page. Other variations were tried (too big to work on WP) including a vanishing image instead of accumulating. I also tried to make a poster in Microsoft Word first, to insert Norm into, but couldn’t figure out how to save that as an image to work with in GIMP.

Pipe Dreams of Jim Groom

Rene Magritte, in his painting The Treachery of Images, gives us lessons in what is the meaning of the artwork we create. Just as the painting of a pipe is not the pipe itself, and the canvas and paint aren’t the pipe itself, and the statement about the pipe is not the pipe itself, so a moving image of Jim Groom is not Jim Groom himself.

This is not Jim Groom

This is not Jim Groom

Thanks to Talky Tina for the template of the dancing images of Jim Groom. The image of the original painting is public domain. Since it is not a pipe, it follows that the image is not the original painting.

I’m currently reading Douglas Hofstadter’s I Am A Strange Loop, which would describe this disconnect of image and reality as an analogy. Even the pixels used to display this blog post on your screen make an analogy of the words and images. In fact, this is all just a figment of your imagination.