Monday, June 30, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cold Start

I seem to recall a time in my life where I was "smart" - i.e. had a crapload of learning at my disposal along the lines of higher mathematics, physics, literature... all those things they cram in your brain in university. Problem is I never put that to use beyond the final exams, so now when I encounter my lecture notes, conveniently stored in cardboard boxes down in the spidery depths of the crawlspace, I marvel at the cryptic scribblings I used to understand.

I had occasion to recall some of these arcane spells when I went on my annual Lynden, Washington trek for the Rhinoceros teacher seminar.

Here's the problem: Wanted to generate a stereoscopic rendering of a 3D model. This involves the following process:
  1. render image, save as "left.jpg"
  2. shift camera axis a factor of 1/16 the camera/target distance to the right, along a line perpendicular to the axis, preserving z coordinate
  3. render image, save as "right.jpg"
  4. ????
  5. profit!
Common wisdom dictates that for a process this mechanical, a script is called for:

10:00 am: Google "Rhino scripts" to recall how to reference camera postion
10:30 am: spend significant amount of time deciphering how Rhinoscript deals with vector notation. It should be A, why am I getting errors?
11 am: recall vectors and arrays are declared as a variant, which has to be initialized. Oh yeah.
11:30 am: lunch at Eastside Deli : Awesome sandwiches.
12:30 pm: try to remember my vector transformations. do a *lot* of uugling ( useless Googling).
1:30 pm: finally remember enough vector transformations to scrape a vague script together.
2:00 pm: discover Rhino plugin called "Monkey" - IDE fro Rhinoscript. Life is made 90% easier.
2:30 pm: discover many, many built in vector transformation functions in Rhinoscript already exist. Using these removes 5 "For-Next" loops, and reduces script volume significantly.
3:00 pm. prototype script works. Looks stupidly simple. This took me five hours? Minus Lunch?
I'm embarrassed.

It's the mental equivalent of this

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Required knowledge:
One of my favourite rockets of all time was the Estes Orbital Transport.
Fun to build, looked very cool, flew great... awesome.

It was the only one I kept from my younger rocketry days, and it began to decay - broken fins, crushed body tube, dented nose cone....

Eventually, the damage was too far gone. Bye Bye....

Current Events:
Last week, three things happend:

1. I found this site

2. The local hobby store had a 25% off sale

3. Free time on a laser cutter

...the omens are clear....